The North Pacific SST “Blob” and Alaska Winter Climate

Dr. RICHARD JAMES, Senior Scientist with Prescient Weather and an Alaska¬†weather and climate aficionado, will present on this topic¬†September 21st from 11am to Noon AKDT. Unusual climate anomalies over North America in the past two winters have stimulated renewed interest in the seasonal influence of North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) patterns on the atmospheric circulation in the Pacific-North America region. Hartmann (2015) proposed that a “North Pacific Mode” of SST anomalies was partly responsible for the dominant ridge-trough structure over North America in winter 2013-2014. In this study we examine the historical connection between the North Pacific Mode and winter climate anomalies over Alaska, and we identify both similarities with, and important differences from, the influence of other leading SST modes that are related to ENSO and the PDO. We also illustrate and explore the non-linear nature of Alaska’s winter climate response to the North Pacific Mode. To register, go to


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